A Slew of Otters

Harbour Seal, harbouring cuddly thoughts

I thought Moss Landing, a place I have been many times before, was North of Santa Cruz. It is not, it is South of Santa Cruz. This error of premise led to an interesting day. Martha, James and I set off to watch Sea Otters and Sea Lions at Elkhorn Slough which is just beside Moss Landing. Slough is pronounced slew by the way and is an estuary.

Because I didn’t know where it was, we drove entirely the wrong route and it took us 4 hours to get there. Great drive down the Pacific coast, wonderful lunch on the ocean side and  then through endless Redwood forest above Santa Cruz – a diversion because of accident on main road.

We arrived at 4:30

It is an ugly place dominated by a vast natural gas power station which is reminiscent of the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

It is getting dark

Pompidou by the sea

Who cares because the Slough is a wildlife paradise. Cuddly Sea Otters, cuddly Sea Lions and cuddly Harbour Seals are all over the place. We have a boat. We have an engine that starts immediately. You get very close.

Cuddly

Snacking

One has got her face in the water. Is she OK?

Anyway we stayed out until it got dark and it is a really fantastic place. I haven’t mentioned the birds but will in a later post.

We stop off at Phil’s Fish Market:

http://www.philsfishmarket.com/index.html .

This is a restaurant just next to the pier at Moss Landing where fishing boats unload. It is 15 miles North of Cannery Row. It is Steinbeck.

We have clam chowder, fried squid slices and bowls of clams washed down with Anchor Steam beer.

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